DOYLESTOWN (PA) – The Delaware Valley College defense allowed just 189 yards and limited the fourth-leading rusher in Division III to 27 yards as the ninth-ranked Aggies notched a resounding 36-0 Homecoming victory over Lycoming College in a battle of first-place teams in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).
Both teams entered the contest with identical 5-1 overall records and 3-0 marks in the MAC and were one-two in nearly every offensive and defensive category in the conference. Instead, it was all Delaware Valley as it moved into the driver's seat for its third straight crown. It has a one-game lead over Lycoming and Wilkes and has victories over both. Three games remain in the standings beginning with next Saturday's home contest against winless King's College.
The Aggie defense pitched their second shutout of the season and the unit has allowed just 66 points all season. They notched five sacks on Saturday and held the Warriors to seven net yards of rushing. Lycoming tailback Josh Kleinfelter entered the game averaging 165.8 yards per showing, including five straight showings of more than 100 yards. The senior got the call 10 times on the ground and averaged 2.7 yards an attempt with a long of five.
Meanwhile, the Delaware Valley offense used a balanced attack to rack up 475 yards (271 pass, 204 rush) and 23 first downs (compared to nine by Lycoming) and it held the ball for nearly 37 minutes (36:50).
Lycoming, the number one ranked team in Division III in turnover margin (plus-20), forced a miscue on the opening kickoff as Josh Borelli popped the ball loose from returned Isaiah Hall and Matt Talerico recovered it at the 32-yard line. However, the play was called back because of an offsides penalty on the kick.
Given a second chance, Hall returned the following kick 23 yards to the 28-yard line. Delaware Valley struck on its first offensive play as quarterback Mark Hatty hit Dan Heiland for a 45-yard reception. The drive stalled at the Lycoming 16-yard line and Jake Sobchak booted a 32-yard field goal for a 3-0 Aggie advantage with 12:22 left in the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, Delaware Valley put together an 11-play, 85-yard drive that was capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hatty to fullback Vincent Lochetto. The Aggies converted a pair of third-down plays on the drive and Hatty and Heiland teamed up for two passes for 41 yards. Sobchak's extra-point made it 10-0 with 4:57 on the clock.
Following a three-and-out by the Warriors, Delaware Valley took over at its own 14 and converted two fourth-down plays including a fourth-and-seven from the Lycoming 37-yard line. The 17-play drive stalled at the three and Sobchak came in for a 21-yard field and a 13-0 lead with 10:37 to go before the intermission.
The teams exchanged punts and Lycoming took over on its own 23-yard line. It managed just five yards on three plays and was forced to kick again. Delaware Valley pushed the Warrior line back and right into punter Zach Czap's punt attempt. The ball bounced at the two-yard line and right into the hands of Aggie All-American linebacker Kyle Gesswein who scored his first collegiate touchdown. Sobchak's kick gave Delaware Valley a 20-0 lead with 3:35 remaining in the half.
On the ensuing possession, Lycoming used a 49-yard pass from Zach Klinger to Adam Paulhamus to move into the red zone. The Warriors then faced a fourth-and-four from the Aggie six-yard line when Gesswein swatted away a Klinger pass at the line of scrimmage to stop the threat.
Both teams had three-and-outs to start the second half before Lycoming went on a 16-play, 70-yard drive that took 7:15 off the clock. However, it came away with no points as, on fourth-and-three from the Aggie 10, a Klinger pass fell incomplete.
Delaware Valley took over and went on an even longer drive as it used 22 plays to march 80 yards in 10 minutes and 31 seconds. It converted two third-down plays and one fourth-down play on the drive and it ended with Sobchak's third field goal of the game, a 27-yarder with 8:27 remaining.
The Aggies added two more touchdowns in the quarter as a Troy Green interception led the a nine-play, 55-yard drive and a 10-yard touchdown run by Matt Cook with 3:25 to go. Freshman tailback Kyle Schuberth then raced to a 42-yard touchdown and his first collegiate score with 65 seconds left in the contest.
Hatty completed 24 of 37 passes for 271 yards and one score. Heiland made eight grabs for 125 yards while tight end Ed Ferrell had four catches for 29 yards. Cook carried the ball 24 times for 83 yards and the one score.
Defensively, Gesswein led the way with nine tackles and a sack to go along with his special teams score. Nose guard Amadeus Hall added six tackles while Mike Jaskowski had two sacks from his end position.
Klinger finished 14-for-29 for 189 yards for Lycoming. Paulhamus and Wagaman combined for six receptions for 116 yards. Chuck Bellitto and Anthony Marascio had 11 and nine stops respectively in the loss.